Asia

Japan trade data, factory survey show economy weakening

  • FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2015 file photo, port workers chat next to a pile of cargo at a container terminal in Tokyo. Japan reports its exports fell 10 percent from a year earlier in April, 2016,  and imports plunged 23 percent, as meanwhile a monthly survey of factory managers showed the sharpest worsening in operating conditions in over three years. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2015 file photo, port workers chat next to a pile of cargo at a container terminal in Tokyo. Japan reports its exports fell 10 percent from a year earlier in April, 2016, and imports plunged 23 percent, as meanwhile a monthly survey of factory managers showed the sharpest worsening in operating conditions in over three years. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man is reflected on the electronic board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, May 23. 2016. Japanese stocks fell and other Asian markets were higher Monday after a global finance meeting failed to produce an economic growth plan and Tokyo reported weaker exports. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

    A man is reflected on the electronic board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, May 23. 2016. Japanese stocks fell and other Asian markets were higher Monday after a global finance meeting failed to produce an economic growth plan and Tokyo reported weaker exports. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)  (The Associated Press)

Japan says its exports fell 10 percent from a year earlier in April and imports plunged 23 percent, as a monthly survey of factory managers showed the sharpest worsening in operating conditions in over three years.

Customs figures released Monday show Japan posted a trade surplus of 823 billion yen ($9.1 billion) in April, compared with a deficit of 58.3 billion yen a year earlier.

A stronger Japanese yen exaggerated the decline in exports, but shipments fell in volume terms, too.

The key figure in a monthly survey of factory managers fell to 47.6 in May from 48.2 in April. A reading of 50 marks the line between contraction and expansion.

Economists said the latest data suggest exports will fall further in the current quarter.